Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Battle of Hampton Roads Collection. On March 8, 1862, the Confederate ironclad ram Virginia left the dock at Norfolk, Virginia, to attack nearby Union ships, members of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. The rebel ship first struck the USS Cumberland, punching a hole in her side with a 1,500 lb iron ram subsequently causing her to sink. The Virginia next turned on the USS Congress who, seeing the fate of her sister ship, purposely ran aground. Seeing that the Congress was now unable to maneuver, the Virginia steamed off to a distance of 200 yards and pounded the Federal ship with her guns. With two ships down, the Virginia headed toward her third prey, the USS Minnesota. The Minnesota was saved by the onset of darkness. During the night, the Union ironclad Monitor had arrived and, at sunrise, battle between the ironclads was joined. The two monsters pounded each other with their guns, but to no avail. After two hours, the Monitor disengaged and headed for shallower water while the Virginia, low on ammunition, steamed off for Norfolk. The battle ended in a draw, but changed the nature of naval warfare forever.

    In this collection we offer several artifacts and manuscript material related to the Battle of Hampton Roads and its participants including:

    Small, Hand-Carved Chair.
    Measuring 2.5" x 1.75"x 1.75" with attached label (on the underside of the seat) reading: "Made from wood of the frigate Cumberland."

    Piece of Wood from the USS
    Congress. Measuring 1.75" x 1" with attached label reading: "Live Oak, from the Congress."

    Block of Wood from the USS
    Cumberland. Measuring 3" x 2.5" x 1.25" with attached label. Label is torn in places obscuring some of the text, but what is visible reads: "Piece of...[C]umberland sunk...Hampton Roads in...Bot [sic] from...Oct 23 1897." Eleven individual "wormholes" throughout.

    Thomas Moore Carte de Visite.
    Measuring 2.5" x 4", Lieutenant Commander Thomas Moore, Acting Master of the USS Congress during the Battle of Hampton Roads, is seen in this vignette portrait wearing civilian clothing. Moore was killed during the battle on March 8, 1862, when the USS Congress purposely ran aground and was broadsided by the CSS Virginia. Lower corners are clipped.

    Congress Carte de Visite. Measuring 4" x 2.5", the U.S. sailing frigate Congress is seen in this sepia toned photograph from the port side, sails taken down. The backstamp indicates that the photograph was taken in Algeria, presumably while on duty in the Mediterranean between 1855 and 1857, and reads: "Rozier/Photographe/Rue Maugrebins, 6/Alger."

    Printed Court Martial and Envelope Addressed to Commodore George W. Storer.
    Folded down to an overall size of 6.5" x 3.5", the envelope contained the "Decision of Hon. Will A. Graham relative to Captain Latimer & other officers of the U.S.S. Cumberland." In 1850, William K. Latimer, captain of the USS Cumberland, had been charged with being "incapable of performing promptly and efficiently all the duty of a naval captain both ashore and afloat." Included is an eight page, printed booklet containing the charges leveled at Latimer: the use of illegal punishment, disobedience of orders, scandalous conduct, neglect of duty, tyrannical and oppressive conduct, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen. Following the list of charges is the judgment levied by Secretary of the Navy William A. Graham. For his part, Latimer was placed on furlough for twelve months. The author of the charges, Lt. Henry C. Flagg, was also furloughed for a twelve month period.

    List of Officers Attached to U. S. Frigate
    Congress. One page with integral address leaf, 8" x 12.75", Rio de Janeiro, December 9, 1848. The list contains twenty-three names with an additional thirteen names listed as passengers. The ship was in Brazil after having served through the Mexican War.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 627

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 41 days left to consign to the 2020 June 2 Taspen Ranch, Truckee CA Real Estate Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674